Friday, July 23, 2010

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Beimen: North Gate of Taipei

7/23/2010 Taiwan Explorer
Photos taken on February 18th, 2011.

The North Gate of Taipei (台北府城北門 pronounced "Táiběi Fǔchéng Běimén", lit. "Taipei Prefecture Capital Nortth Gate") or also known as the Chengen Gate (承恩門 pronounced "Chéngēnmén" lit. "Gate of receiving mercy") or Beimen (北門) was built in 1879 and completed in 1884 and was the main gate of the old Taipei in the times of the Qing dynasty (source). The gate is located in Zhongzheng district at the intersection between Zhongxiao West road, Yanping North road and Boai Road.

1 Names overview

台北府城小北門 - Taipei Prefecture Capital North Gate
承恩門 - Gate of Receiving Mercy
北門 - North Gate

2 Map of the gate

This gate stands today at the worst location, but it's accessible to pedestrians (view larger map).

3 My impression of the gate

This is my favorite gate of Taipei, because it looks the same as originally built some 125 years ago. Sadly, the other three remaining gates were modified, while one gate was not even rebuilt after the Japanese destroyed it a century ago. I wished Taiwan would restore Taipei's gates the same way South Korea is restoring its historic gates and palaces in recent years. These buildings are a cultural treasure and should be seen as an important cultural heritage for the whole nation. It would be a delight to see all 4 great gates and 1 small gate of Taipei in their former glory. But I know it most likely won't happen. At least we have the North Gate in its original form.

4 My day photos of the gate

This is approaching the gate from Taipei's Main Station.

The structure is huge and very impressive.

The gate is exposed to heavy traffic.

The front side: 門恩承 is read from right to left (old way), it means Cheng En Men.

A small lawn west of the gate, where it's obvious how close they built the road above.

On the right: Post Office, old building from Japanese times, currently under renovation.

North gate of Taipei under the scorching sun (I made it black/white).

5 My night photos of the gate

This was taken around 6pm local time.

From the other side of the road.

Beimen at night from close.

6 Historic image of the gate

North gate in the old times (digitally remastered by me). The year is unknown.

Location: Go to Main Station, walk westwards along Zhongxiao West Rd. (link)

Related: [My GATES OF TAIPEI overview][Info][Taipei]
[All photos except the last by LilyChen, 2010]

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